Top 5 Must Do's in IzmirEdit This
As the third largest city in Turkey, Izmir is a bustling center of activity with plenty going on to entertain any traveler. Most people head to Izmir for the luxury of grand hotels on the coast while being able to easily travel to surrounding ancient city ruins, but if you're looking for Izmir "must do's," there are definitely a few places you should see.
Located in Konak Square is the monument which has become the symbol of Izmir: Saat Kulesi, or the clock tower. It was built in 1901 as a gift from Kaiser Wilhelm II. The tower stands 25 meters high and is surrounded by four impressive fountains at its base. The tower is a beautiful structure that should definitely be inspected in the daylight hours, but be sure to return at night to take some photographs of the tower lit in all its splendor.
2. Izmir Asansor
The Asansor, meaning elevator, is another of Izmir's older structures. The elevator was built in 1907 to serve as a relief from the 155 steps that had previously been required of people who wished to ascend to Halil Rifat Pasa Caddesi above the town. At the top is a restaurant and bar that affords an excellent view over Izmir and the sea. The area surrounding the elevator has also become known as Asansor, and is a lovely area of cobbled streets and old fashioned buildings, including Izmir's largest synagogue, Beth Israel.
3. Sifali Lux Hamam
You can't visit Turkey without stopping at a Turkish Bath, and Sifali Lux Hamam is the best to be found in Izmir. Men can enjoy longer opening hours, but during the day women can also frequent the baths (don't worry, they have separate sections). You can make your way through the different temperature rooms and waters, and include a wash and a massage along the way. The bath house is located just off of Anafartalar Caddesi.
These museums are both worth a visit and are close enough in location that you can do both in one go. The Archaeology Museum contains jewelry, sculptures, glassware and more from both Greek and Roman times. There are also plenty of artifacts from the nearby ruin of Ephesus. The Ethnography Museum is housed in an old stone building and displays local arts, crafts and customs including pottery making, embroidery and even camel wrestling.
This traditional street market is said to be the biggest in Turkey. The wares are organized in such a way that you can roam a street full of kitchen utensils before turning onto streets of leathers or pottery. There's even an entire street dedicated to wedding apparel. Prices are moderate to low, and you can stop anywhere for a cup of coffee or tea. Be sure to check out the buildings as you go, as they're also a large part of Izmir's history.